Articles by Bela Lyauv



Q&A: Yury Luzhkov Says He's a Completely Free Man

Immediately after Yury Luzhkov was dismissed from office, his friend and predecessor Gavriil Popov asked him to be dean of the International University in Moscow.

Strategic Thinking Means Saying 'No'

Andrei Sharonov is a city government official with a business background. Now, as deputy mayor for economic policy, one of his main tasks is to improve the city's investment climate.

City to Pay $1.4Bln for Luzhniki Makeover

City Hall plans to turn Luzhniki into a cultural center as well as a sports complex, with reconstruction in the run-up to the 2018 football World Cup estimated to cost 40 billion rubles ($1.4 billion).

Moscow Expansion Focuses On Western Part of Region

Land plots on Moscow's west side are leading candidates for facilitating its growth: Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Moscow region Governor Boris Gromov plan to create a working group for expanding the city's boundaries.

$1.2Bln to Be Spent on City Roads

City Hall will allocate 84 percent of 39.5 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) of not yet dispersed funds to road construction. The money will be used to build and repair major transportation arteries of the city, said Marina Ogloblina, head of the city's department of economic policy and development.

Luzhniki Complex Sold to City Hall for a Song

Vladimir Alyoshin, the main owner of the Luzhniki Olympic complex, is selling his stake in the company to the city of Moscow for 10 million euros ($14.2 million), Vedomosti learned from sources close to the businessman.

Bureaucracy Hinders Competitiveness

Food could cost 15 percent less, communications could go down by 10 percent, and real estate could be 25 to 30 percent cheaper. The problem is bureaucracy and legalized corruption, government experts say.

City Committee to Drive Affordable Housing Plan

A Moscow City Hall committee has been created to provide housing at 50,000 to 60,000 rubles ($1,700 to $2,000) per square meter to people on the waiting list to obtain better living quarters.

Legislators Moving to Rossiya Site

A parliamentary center will be built on the site near the Kremlin where the Rossiya Hotel once stood.

Bus Lanes Planned to Ease Traffic Jams

Moscow officials have compiled a list of streets that will feature bus lanes. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has many times said the traffic jam problem needs to be solved not only with new roads and junctions, but also by stimulating people to use public transportation.

Sobyanin Building Freeze Raises Housing Prices

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has forbidden new construction in downtown Moscow. The mayor's announcement has already impacted the market. Investors are returning, and many developers have increased prices.

Abramovich to Invest in Gorky Park, Recreation

Billionaire Roman Abramovich plans to build an amusement park near Skolkovo and restore the downtown Gorky Park. He volunteered to develop Gorky Park, an official at the Mayor's office told Vedomosti.

City Housing Construction Hits Record Low

Last year, a record low amount of housing construction took place in Moscow, even less than there was in the early 1990s. Government figures indicated that 1.77 million square meters were made available in 2010, a third less than the prior year.

City Hall Cancels High-Rise Projects

A decision was made at the last session of the CityТs building commission to terminate eight construction projects, a source in the mayor's office told Vedomosti.

City Schemes to Avoid Bank Tender

Moscow officials intend to avoid a tender for the sale of Bank of Moscow by transferring its shares into the capital of the Tsentralnaya Toplivnaya Kompania fuel company, which will then sell them to VTB.

Baturina, Anisimov Talks Die Quickly

Inteko president Yelena Baturina on Saturday discussed the sale of assets to Vasily Anisimov's real estate holding Coalco, but the meeting was brief because the two billionaires could not agree on a price, sources close to both sides told Vedomosti.

Moscow to Start Asset Sales With 78 Stakes

City Hall will begin the large-scale asset sale promised by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin with stakes in companies where Moscow is not the controlling shareholder, according to a list obtained by Vedomosti.

Kiosks Reopen After Crackdown

Following an enthusiastic campaign to rid the city's streets of vendors, Moscow officials are blushing after it was discovered that no formal order to remove the kiosks was ever issued.

Tax Cases Targeting Chigirinsky Closed

Real estate developer Shalva Chigirinsky may return to Russia now that criminal investigations targeting him for tax evasion have been closed, Vedomosti has learned.

Baturina Buys Land for Golf Course

Yelena Baturina's building conglomerate Inteko has acquired a 35-hectare plot in western Moscow to build a golf club, possibly to be designed by U.S. golf legend Jack Nicklaus, Vedomosti has learned.

Chaika Goes After Baturina Land

Moscow prosecutors are pushing City Hall to cancel an order that allowed Yelena Baturina's Inteko to acquire 55 hectares of land. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has written a complaint letter to President Dmitry Medvedev.

High-Rise to Lose Builders' Penthouses

Dom na Mosfilmovskoi's large penthouses, intended for the co-owners of Don-Stroi, will be demolished, in line with orders from city authorities to reduce the height of the building.

Deripaska May Swap Stakes to Keep Austrian Interest

Oleg Deripaska does not want to lose his stake in Austrian construction firm Strabag ― so he is willing to trade in his Russian assets, such as Transstroi and Glavmosstroi.

PIK to Sell $500M in Shares to Pay Debts

PIK Group is planning on selling up to $500 million in shares to pay off debts, the company's board of directors decided Friday.

Official's Wife Gets City Contracts

The head of City Hall's department of bridge and road construction is under investigation for signing at least $279 million worth of contracts with a company headed by his wife.

PIK Group, Inteko Partner Up on Housing Project

Inteko will receive a stake in PIK Group's business-class housing development on Michurinsky Prospekt, a project that the developer was unable to sell to VTB last year because of the bank's concerns over the builder's right to rent the land.

Mining Magnate Behind 2 Building Projects

An unexpected investor turned out to be behind the demolished Hotel Rossiya next to the Kremlin, as well as the unfinished Russia Tower in Moskva-City Ч Viktor Rashnikov, owner of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works.

Abramovich Is Skolkovo's Biggest Neighbor

State authorities may seek to expand Skolkovo, the innovation city, onto private land that belongs to billionaire Roman Abramovich and other individuals and companies. But they weren't aware of that possibility when contacted by Vedomosti.

Inteko Challenges Tax Claims in Court

Tax authorities are demanding that Yelena Baturina's developer Inteko pay almost $12 million for newly built apartments that have not yet been registered with their owners, setting the stage for a potentially key court ruling.

Developers to Get VAT Exemption

A law implemented in 2005 defined the rights of investors in shared-equity construction projects, in which future apartment owners finance the complex's construction, but many companies have developed alternative УgrayФ schemes that still limit the investors' rights.